This time of year we think of Steve Martin and John Candy in John Hughes’ hilarious Thanksgiving classic “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” Today’s modern traveler can only laugh at the mismatched duo bundled up in the middle of winter driving a rental car with a charred roof and a melted speedometer on their snowy cross-country misadventure.

Whether it be a trip home for holiday family reunions and festivities, a last minute weekend beach getaway, or winter ski vacation, ’tis the season for travel. So how does the travel and hospitality industry plan for the surge in travel when it comes to their search campaigns?

Bings Ads recently studied 108,000 ads running in the high winter travel season from November 2013 to February 2014. The study analyzed four travel sub-verticals including airlines and flights, car rentals, hotels and cruises. The report also broke down the data by device, taking into consideration PC/tablet versus mobile.

Here’s what they found. ClickZ columnist John Gagnon provides a nice synopsis:

  • Across the board, in every sub-vertical and device, ad copy using “save/savings” and “deals/discounts” earn higher engagement across every sub-vertical and device. The only place this isn’t true is in an ad with “business” in the title and “discounts/deals” in the description – potentially revealing our tendency to spend more if it’s not our own money!
  • User intent as it relates to device is critical. Putting together different ads for mobile and PC is a must, as users on PCs are more likely to be attracted to official sites, while mobile users want to take action from a “book now” interface.

Marketers should keep in mind that much like the Black Friday and Cyber Monday e-commerce crowd, travelers are seeking seasonal deals and promotions around the holidays. Travelers this time of year are seeking value and frequently comparison shop. Travel and hospitality businesses should participate in seasonal offerings just as e-commerce businesses do.

Read the full report here.

Image courtesy of drafthouse.com.

 


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